THE OTHER F-WORD by Natasha Friend

THE OTHER F-WORD

Age Range: 12 - 18
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two teens that share a sperm donor go on a quest to find their father.

Hollis Darby-Barnes and Milo Robinson-Clark, both white teens and 14 and 15 respectively, are children of lesbian couples that used the same sperm donor. Milo lives in Brooklyn and suffers a host of allergies that lead his nonbiological mother, Frankie, to smother him. He contacts Hollis on a whim; they haven’t spoken since they were 7, but Milo wants to find their father—both to scour his medical records and because he’s angry at Frankie—and he doesn’t want to do it alone. Hollis lives in Saint Paul, Minnesota, with her mom, Leigh, who still mourns the loss of her partner, Pam, who died years ago. Impatient with her mother’s grief, Hollis isn’t interested in the past. However, Leigh sees this family reconnection as orchestrated by Pam and jets them off to Brooklyn. It’s not long before Milo and Hollis discover they have more family out there than they imagined. The close third-person narration shifts perspective between Hollis and Milo, the protagonists reading as older than their chronological ages. Both meet conflicts with requisite angst—but although the characters are fully developed, there’s little tension to keep readers hooked. The story ends up feeling light despite the characters’ emotional journeys.

Those facing similar quests to find birth parents will find this story comforting. (Fiction. 12-18)

Pub Date: March 7th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-374-30234-4
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2016




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